Earthshaker – Playfield Inserts

The inserts on this Earthshaker were not in a great place, with some of them raised, some of them sunken and some of them missing large chunks of the artwork. A great support article for all of this work is the incredible Ulitmate Playfield Restoration thread by the legendary Vid1900 over on pinside, if you are taking this kind of project on, not just here to see how I have done it, you need to take a good look at that thread.

Levelling the inserts

There are four major steps to levelling out any inserts.

  • Cut around the insert to ensure that any movement of the insert doesn’t take up the paint.
  • Use the heat method to soften the glue.
  • If raised use a flat surface to tap the insert down (or a soft malllet works too)
  • If sunken use the largest socket that will fit in the insert and tap with a mallet to lift the sunken insert.

It doesn’t take a huge amount of heat to get these moving. As Vid suggests, if you don’t need to take the insert out, don’t. I noticed one of the inserts didn’t have enough about it to stay from sinking, so from the underside I applied some glue. This has held the insert in place well.

Removing the Decals

I use 200 grit sandpaper to bring off the insert decals and then polish them up, using isopropyl alcohol (99%) – simply cover in alcohol and polish the insert, before coating in isopropyl once more and wiping clean. Taking the inserts from this…

To this, which is much more respectable…

Now level, and inserts prepped, it will be time to move on to frisket and airbrushing. Until next time… Happy flipping.

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